7/25/12

As we forgive those who do wrong is my parsing of the traditional words of the Lord's Prayer


As we forgive those who do wrong 
is my parsing of the traditional words of the Lord's Prayer
As we forgive our debtors 
As we forgive those who trespass against us 
Both of these constructions are less telling these days 
As we forgive those who do wrong covers the waterfront 
of things we need to forgive on a daily basis 

We are forgiving a whole lot of people 
including people we have already forgiven 
when our forgiveness has been less than effective 
We forgive those we know have harmed us in word and deed 
And we forgive those whose actions are harming us 
even though they may not know it and are far away 
We forgive everyone daily 

But the most the most important word in this beyond forgive 
is common to all versions - as 
This points to the reciprocal contractual covanental nature 
of this massive transaction 
We are forgiven by Abba AS we forgive 
This is the only condition in the prayer but it is the key to everything 

Go to South Africa where they have made 
forgiveness a national priority I
t is not perfect but imagine this happening in America 
Impossible in our poison climate 

To be forgiven is to stand free 
To obtain this freedom we must daily forgive everyone 
It does not mean we do not battle 
It means we battle for the values 
not for the pleasure of destroying folk 
And if we are destroying folk 
we need to look to our values 

The key ones are tolerance democracy helpfulness and non-idolatry


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